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August 28, 2014

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Tropicana hires branding firm to focus on value

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Justin M. Bowen

Tropicana Las Vegas

Tropicana Entertainment plans to reposition itself as a value-oriented company, and it has hired some help to do so.

The company, which owns Tropicana Las Vegas, is bringing in branding company Hornall Anderson Design Works to help define the Tropicana.

Tropicana Entertainment “plans to elevate its service and value standards” and hopes Hornall Anderson will “help define and deliver a customer experience that appeals to cost-sensitive, value-conscious consumers,” a news release said today.

“It is clear that as people begin digging their way out of the recession, customer service and value are going to be increasingly important in our category,” Riad Shalaby, Tropicana’s chief marketing officer, said in the news release.

The Seattle-based Hornall Anderson Design Works is known for rebranding efforts with retail brands like Jamba Juice, Nordstrom, T-Mobile, Tommy Bahama, The Seattle Supersonics and the Space Needle.

Tropicana Entertainment has dealt with turmoil in recent years, from financial problems to leadership shifts to quality issues.

Rooms have been left without renovations for decades and in April 2008, fliers were found for housekeeping workers offering a $25 bounty for bedbugs brought in alive.

Last month, the hotel announced the end of its legendary topless review "Les Folies Bergere," which had graced the Tropicana stage since 1959.

In May 2008, Tropicana Entertainment filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after it defaulted on nearly $2.7 billion in bonds. The company lost its biggest asset when the New Jersey Casino Control Commission voted December 2007 not to renew the Tropicana’s casino license. Tropicana Entertainment said without the New Jersey property, it couldn’t afford to pay its debt.

The company began negotiations with the Cordish Company in September 2008 to purchase the Tropicana Atlantic City for $700 million but the sale has been stalled.

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